Updated: Jan 3
"Information that is not retrieved from memory might as well not exist."
I have been thinking about this quote for several days. It comes from Thinking Fast and Slow written by Nobel Prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman. It has prompted me to add another layer to my reading practices; I have been revisiting the passages I've underlined and writing notes and quotes along with the correlating page number in a notebook.
Your mind might not be a muscle, but mental exercise is important if you want ideas to stay active and readily available in your memory.
Kahneman's theory examines two thinking systems: one that is intuitive and automatic (System 1, the fast one), and the other is slow and thoughtful, but easily distracted, often lazy, and without substantial diligence, can be overpowered by the automaticity of System 1 (automaticity is indeed a word...I googled it).
As I head to a conference that I have attended a handful of times before, the above quote reminds me that I have always taken diligent notes that have since been filed away in a drawer where it's gathering dust. It's time to develop a better plan to revisit those ideas and keep them alive and active considering that half of my mind apparently has laziness built into its core, whether I want to admit it or not.
I don't read, attend conferences, seek out relationships, or actively seek out other learning opportunities simply for entertainment alone. I do it because I want to improve as a person.
In order to realistically improve and actually learn, information must be acted upon and implemented. A consistent and effective review process is essential to keeping your mind fresh. Without one, the content up there "might as well not exits."
I guess it's kind of like studying for a test like I used to do in school...except for the test is life, and you don't get graded till it's over.